Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wedding hanky for Joanne

My youngest daughter, Joanne, is getting married August 1. I've had a hanky sitting next to my tatting chair since Easter, and I've been trying to decide which edging pattern to use. I really had planned on using one of Mary Konior's patterns, but every time I tried to make a sample of one, I'd become over-confident and make a mistake that could not be ignored. Yesterday I tried test-tatting three different edgings, and on each one I made a mess of the second pattern repeat. I guess my brain is on vacation with the rest of me!

This morning I opened up A Tatter's Workbook by A. Tatter, edited by Jules & Kathe Kliot. The second pattern in the book really appealed to me, and I found I was able to follow the pattern with ease. I guess you can tell by the look of it that it's really not a complicated pattern! It was just what my poor brain needed!

I hope I can start tatting a little faster... this took me 2 1/2 hours! Of course, I was a little distracted. I was watching The Guns of Navarone while I tatted. Gregory Peck made such a handsome leading man, and I love his voice!

P.S. - The tatting shuttle and picot hook are from Grizzly Mountain Arts. The picot gauges are from Lacemaker U.S.A. I'm tatting the edging with Cebelia size 30.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Inspirational storage

When Mom and Janet were visiting last week, we went to Crete for a little antique shopping, garden shopping, and lunch at a lovely little tea room. We found lots of goodies (cut glass, pressed glass, brooches, pendants, a Swing-Away ice crusher) at the antique store, and then we went to the little garden shop.

Janet found an adorable distressed metal frog for her garden, and a beautiful lacy plant (I've already forgotten the name of it). In the shop we also saw several apothecary jars. We all came up with ideas for their use, and I, of course, thought of tatting thread. However, I was not willing to pay $85 for an apothecary jar! When we got home, Janet searched the Internet and found them for far less. Before I knew it, she had ordered one for my birthday!

It arrived today, and I am thrilled with it! The size is perfect for my table, and it holds quite a bit of my thread. How can I not be inspired with all those lovely colors right before my eyes? Thank you, Janet!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sharing my stash

My sister brought Mom down to the farm yesterday, and after dinner we started talking about tatting. I pulled out my treasure box of completed pieces, and Mom and Janet chose their favorites.

I'm too lazy to get up and look for the pattern names, but I do know that Mom loves the "Stumpy" bookmark by Kersti Anear. It should come in handy when she's reading on her Kindle! ; )

The green and purple piece that Janet chose is my tribute to Myra Piper. The center is Myra's motif #12. I designed the green edging (my first and only attempt at designing). If you're interested in trying it out, the edging pattern can be found here. Sorry... you'll have to buy Myra's book to get the pattern for the center. Remember, as a librarian I've been injected with copyright law!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dealing with imperfection

It is so easy to post about my successes, but I have a difficult time admitting my mistakes. Here are two mistakes that have kept me from posting for over two weeks! Yes, I've been having difficulty with Stella Alpina. Why? I've tatted this doily several times, so it's not that I'm unfamiliar with the pattern. I've cut out or retro-tatted at least six sections of this doily. I thought I was nearly at the end, when I discovered that I had missed a join in the very first section! I tried fixing it without cutting out the offending section, but it just didn't work. I ran out of thread on one of the shuttles, so I just cut off the whole thing, and I'm setting it aside until later. I love the color. I love the doily... but, I can't stand the mistakes!

Yesterday, I decided that I would enter the 25 Motif Challenge for a third time to help me focus. Since I've been having such a hard time reading patterns, I thought I'd turn to one of my favorite little books, Tatting by Myra Piper. Simple, right? Wrong! I was doing fine until the end of the motif. I took out the next to the last ring four times before I realized that I didn't need to make the join I was trying to make! I was tatting away merrily this morning, loving the thunderstorm outside, and when I finished I cut my threads so that I could tie off the motif. That's when I noticed I hadn't completed the motif!

Thank goodness, I have a Spinning Wheel glass mat in progress to help me de-stress!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cap quest completed!

I did it! I finished caps for each of my grandchildren! From left to right, the hats are for Ella, Lily, Aidan, and Eva. I have a feeling they're going to be too small, but at least I understand the pattern so that I can quickly make caps to fit them when I'm with them this summer. The girls' hats are all the same (Crazy Easy Textured Newsboy Cap), but Aidan wanted the Frank Newsboy Cap for the Dudes and Ladies. I adapted the pattern from the original, which called for double thickness of yarn. Since Aidan wants this for the summer, I used one strand of cotton. The patterns are by Ele Schnier of Nutella Dreams Late Night Crafts. Her patterns are well written and easy to follow. If you're interested, you can find her patterns at

I've had a few hiccups with Stella Alpina. I should never tat late at night while watching a movie and drinking wine. (Late for me is after 9 p.m.) Over the weekend, I looked and looked to try and find where I made my mistake so that I could fix it and move on. Three times I thought I found my mistake and snipped it out, only to discover another error even further back! I finally figured it all out early this morning, so now I'm ready to tat again.

Today was report card day at school, and all the children were on their way home by 9 o'clock. What will I do with all my free time? I'm sure I'll figure something out! ; )